Ocean and Coastal Processes

Integrated management of marine and coastal resources is essential for balancing competing needs and will contribute to poverty alleviation and sustainable development in Africa. Access to reliable data and information is crucial for this process.

African Ocean Observing System

Deployment of a current meter and CTD in Seychelles

© Seychelles Fishing Authority; Deployment of a current meter and CTD in Seychelles

The Ocean Observing System for Africa should focus on "ocean information for human and economic security". The major issues that the observations should address include:

  • Food security and fisheries
  • Early warning for ocean related hazards and disaster risk reduction
  • Ecosystem services and sustainability
  • Coastal management and governance
  • Climate variability,change and adaptation
  • Education and training

The 2nd International Indian Ocean Expedition

© UNESCO; Diagram of cruises completed and planned from 1959-1963

The International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE) was one of the greatest international, interdisciplinary oceanographic research efforts of all time. It began in 1962 and was carried out over several years, with forty­‐six research vessels participating under fourteen different flags. The IIOE motivated an unprecedented number of hydrographic surveys over the course of the expedition covering the entire Indian Ocean basin. Although sampling was focused primarily on physical measurements, it was an interdisciplinary endeavour that embraced chemical oceanography, meteorology, marine biology, marine geology and geophysics. Many more countries than just the fourteen that ran cruises in IIOE were engaged in formative meetings and/or sample analysis.

In the 50 years since the IIOE, two fundamental changes have taken place in ocean science. The first is the emergence of new components of the ocean observing system, most notably remote sensing and Argo floats. The second one is the emergence of ocean modeling in all its facets from short‐term forecasting to seasonal prediction to climate projections. Both of these developments have revolutionized our understanding of the global oceans, including the Indian Ocean. Compared to the IIOE we now have the capacity to provide a much more integrated picture of the Indian Ocean, especially if these new technologies can be combined with targeted and well­‐coordinated in situ measurements.

The IOC Perth Program Office in its role as co-leading the planning for the 50th Anniversary Initiative of the International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE-2) has recently posted a number of related documents and presentations from the third IIOE-2 Reference Group meeting held in Mauritius in March 2014 on the IOC Perth website. Please access them via the IIOE-2 portal on www.iocperth.org.


Madagascar scientist on board Research Vessel Knorr in the Indian Ocean

The IOC in collaboration with Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) and Indian Ocean Global Ocean Observing System (IOGOOS), have established an IIOE-2 Reference Group to explore and plan for the possibility of a second such international expedition (IIOE-2) to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the original IIOE of the 1960s, and especially to further significantly advance the understanding of the Indian Ocean and in its role in the oceanic and climatic systems of the global ocean and atmosphere. The reference group has held two meetings in Hyderabad, India (14-15 May 2013) and in Qingdao, China (20-21 November 2013).

A Western Indian Ocean Regional Focus Group Meeting to help plan the International Indian Ocean Expedition 50th Anniversary Initiative (IIOE-2) will be held in Quatre Bornes, Mauritius, 6 and 7 March 2014.

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